Cooperstown was settled by William Cooper in the late eighteenth century. Agriculture was and still is the main industry, which many residents from the area try to preserve to this day. Cooperstown is best known for; being the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the Farmers' Museum, The Fenimore Art Museum, Glimmerglass Opera, and the New York State Historical Association.
William Cooper was the father to the American novelist James Fenimore Cooper. Judge William Cooper acquired large tracts of land in the this region and in 1788 planned and laid out the village. The village was not actually incorporated until 1812. Cooperstown is also the birth place of the Susquehanna River which flows through New York and Pennsylvania. The village of Copperstown is sometimes referred to as "America's Most Perfect Village."
Many of the novels written by James Fenimore Cooper take place right in or around Cooperstown. Some of the novels include The Deerslayer, The Last of the Mohicans, and The Pathfinder. His stories bring out and show the magnificent wooded hills that surround Lake Otsego, which was dubbed the "Glimmerglass" by Cooper himself.
Because of its unique attributes, in the middle of the 19th century the Otsego area turned into a summer retreat. Houses and estates were built up around the area and many in fact still stand today. At this time the Clark family begain their philanthropic interest in the community. The foundation of the current economy was provided by their foresight and commitment. For many years the Cooper's home, Otsego Hall, was the largest private residence in the state. It did however burn in 1852 and is now the site of a public park.
A few historic events in Cooperstown include:
1901 - First passenger trolley in service
1904 - First cement sidewalk was built at the village expense
1906 - First ticket issued for exceeding speed limit through village
1911 - Site of first New York State agricultural fair
1918 - Nestle Food Company buys International Milk Products Plant on Grove Street
1919 - September 29th, Doubleday property officially transferred to village
1933 - Last Electric Trolley service
1938 - August 21st., first concert held at opening of Lakefront park
1959 - Tom Yawkey, owner of the Boston Red Sox, gave metal seats along 1st base line to Doubleday Field
1992 - Film location for the movie "A League of Their Own"